Thursday, 2 May 2013

Questions (43)

Martin Ferris


43. Deputy Martin Ferris asked the Minister for Justice and Equality steps that are being taken to ensure incidents of racism are not under-reported; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20840/13]

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Written answers (Question to Justice)

I can advise the Deputy that An Garda Síochána is very conscious of the impact of racist incidents and relevant structures are in place to support appropriate policing responses and to encourage reporting.

All members of An Garda Síochána are tasked with enforcing all legislation relating to criminal matters, including the relevant provisions relating to racist behaviour. On receipt of any complaint the matter will be subject of a full investigation by An Garda Síochána and on completion of such investigation an Investigation File will be submitted to the Law Officers who, on being satisfied that there is sufficient evidence available to warrant a prosecution, will direct what charges, if any, are to be proffered.

The Garda Racial Intercultural and Diversity Office (GRIDO) has responsibility for coordinating, monitoring and advising on all aspects of policing Ireland's diverse communities. GRIDO monitors the reporting and recording of hate and racist crime on a continual basis.

There are currently a total of 322 Garda Ethnic Liaison Officers (ELOs) appointed to work with minority communities at local level. These officers combined with GRIDO play a fundamental role in liaising with minority groups and work in partnership to encourage tolerance, respect and understanding within communities and to help prevent hate and racist crime. GRIDO and ELOs provide advice and assistance to victims of hate or racist crime where required or deemed necessary.

In addition to the work of the Gardaí, the Office for the Promotion of Migrant Integration, which operates under my Department's remit, provides substantial funding to local authorities around the country to support local programmes that educate the public on issues such as immigration, integration and anti-racism.

Question No. 44 answered with Question No. 37.